Fannin Innovation Studio Expands Team as Life Science Portfolio Grows

Dr. Michael Heffernan to lead R&D of novel biomedical technologies.

Houston, TX, July 29, 2015 –(– Fannin Innovation Studio (, an early-stage life science commercialization company, today announces the appointment of Michael J. Heffernan, Ph.D., P.E. to company Principal where he serves as Director of Research & Development for Fannin portfolio companies BreviTest Technologies and recently formed GuidaBot, LLC. He held a faculty position in the Pediatric Tropical Medicine section at Baylor College of Medicine for four years prior to joining Fannin Innovation Studio.

“One of our strengths in turning cutting edge technologies into viable companies is identifying experienced leaders who possess both a life science skill set and a passion for entrepreneurship,” said Fannin Managing Partner Atul Varadhachary. “Mike’s extensive experience in both life sciences and engineering, and in industrial product development and academic research, make him well-suited for his role as Principal, which lies at the intersection of these areas.”

At BreviTest, developers of a rapid diagnostic device that allows ELISA testing to be done at the point-of-care in five to ten minutes, Heffernan is charged with overseeing product development activities and business plan development. Specifically, he will focus on advancing the design of mechanical, electronic, software, and optical components of the novel device.

Similarly, at GuidaBot, Heffernan will collaborate with inventor Dr. Nikolaos Tsekos at the University of Houston and oversee the engineering development of the company’s robotic device including building the next generation prototype and demonstrating proof-of-concept. GuidaBot is developing a robotic manipulator designed to work within the powerful magnetic field of an MRI, allowing physicians to perform interventions using real-time MRI imaging for absolute precision.

Heffernan earned his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and completed postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute.
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Fannin Partners, LLC
Anna Drake